The United Way and powdered milk

It is the time of year in most communities when the busiest people take on yet more responsibilities’working United Way cards.’The heaviest thing in my purse is an unworked pledge card,’ one longtime woman UW volunteer said.’A fellow working along side added, ‘Don’t give ’til it hurts; give ’til it feels good!’Let us all thank God for them and their work each year as advocates for many people’young and old’who don’t have nearly enough advocates.’ ‘Visit a United Way agency and look straight into the eyes of a youngster in critical need of UW services, then fill out your pledge card,’ a long-time UW devotee suggested years ago.’I did, and have been ‘hooked’ on UW ever since. May tribes of volunteers increase, and may the UW thermometer markers at town centers across Texas go over the top. * * * * * For years we’ve watched Richard Grasso, deposed chief of the New York Stock Exchange, flash a cheesy smile daily for us folks in TV land during bell-clanging rituals to launch each market day.’It may have required mouth-stretching exercises to expose so many teeth, forcing the TV guys to get wide-angle lenses.’And his smile never changed during the ‘bearest’ of markets.’Would your smile change if you were tucking away $140 million a year’Why he had a better deal than big- time college football coaches!’Alas, his ‘package’ was short-lived; so are said coaches if they don’t produce. * * * * * Speaking of coaches, a dad and 16-year-old son for years have supported the silver and blue Dallas Cowboys.’Truth to tell, the blustery father has done most of the supporting, waving pompoms as he described the glory years dating back to son’s trike-riding years.’Junior has been ‘dragged along,’ very much a minor player in this ‘supportive thing.’ They were stationed in front of the television for the NFL opener between the Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons.’Surely they’ll pull this one out, particularly since Atlanta’s quarterback is out with injuries,’ dad observed.’I mean he was ready for some football’some bonding’and finally, some booing.’Son was yawning. At game’s end, snack tray emptied, spirit drooped and pompom at half mast, he asked, ‘Son, did you learn one thing from the game’ ‘Sure, Dad,’ he answered, ‘How YOU can save 15% on OUR car insurance’.’ * * * * * Amazement continues as to what they’ll think of next for cellular phones.’Growing numbers have screens where callers can see each other while they talk.’Can you see me now’ is bound to be included in upcoming ads.’When you get your new cell phone, be careful not to call it ‘new- fangled.’Within weeks, it will be merely ‘fangled,’ and before the contract you signed is halfway done, count on it being ‘old-fangled’.’ * * * * * It does a body good to see that milk is making a comeback.’Who would have dreamed that it would be ‘fancied up’ with names, colors, packaging, vending’etc.’ to increase its appeal across the land’* During growing-up years, lots of folks’us included’milked our own cows, but in the pantry we had ‘ready-made’ milk.’It was the condensed version introduced by Carnation; the ads bragging that it was from ‘contented cows.’ We joked that the competition–Pet Milk–had cows that were not contented; they were always striving to do better. (Pet Milk actually made the scene in 1885, but didn’t have a clever slogan.’The ‘contented cow’ ads date back to 1907.’This was in the days when mad cows were ‘unherd’ of’.) Refrigeration, of course, has greatly enhanced possibilities for this marvelous beverage.’Before refrigeration, whatever we did with milk had to be done pretty fast.’The heat of the day could turn milk into something else pretty fast.’Growing-up milk references included words like ‘blinky’ and ‘clabber.’ Years ago, Fort Worth mayor Willard Barr ordered a glass of buttermilk with lunch.’Sir, we don’t have buttermilk, we have just plain milk,’ the waitress responded.’That’s okay,’ he said, ‘A glass of sweet milk will be fine.’You weren’t listening,’ the waitress answered, fangs bared, ‘We just have plain milk’.’ ‘* * * * * I was brought up short by a Granbury editor last week.’He challenged my column reference to Johnny Cash singing Luckenbach, Texas, which includes a line about ‘Newbury’s train songs.’His recollection was that Willie Nelson was best known for the ditty.’I meekly surrendered, not wanting to get tangled up with anyone who buys ink by the barrel’. Later in the day, I ran into another friend who has waded hip-deep through country music for decades.’For a tune as popular as Luckenback, Texas, you can bet Cash probably sang it, too, at concerts and honky tonks far and wide’or at least in the shower!’I felt a little better’. * * * * * Dr. Don Newbury, longtime president of Howard Payne University, is now an author/ speaker/columnist living a few miles south of senility.’His new book, Life by the Seat of the Pants, is available in hardback and five-hour audio versions.’Order by e-mail at seat@speakerdoc.com or call 817-447- 3872 to get order by return mail.’ *For kids getting off the school bus in the 40’s, a ‘fancied up’ glass of milk was greatly enhanced by a teaspoon of cocoa and three spoons of sugar.’We called the drink ‘cocoa,’ and it went down well!

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